The Mom Next Door Series: Cara E.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today's Mom Next Door is from a momma who is near and dear to my heart.  So near and dear in fact, she's in the family.  This week, my cousin Cara is sharing a little about her life as a new-ish mom navigating not only the world of motherhood but also another country as she and her family recently relocated to Germany on military orders.

Cara is my husband's first cousin and I have known her since she was probably 11 or 12 years old.  I've watched her grow into a teenager, adult, and now a momma.  She has always been full of life, spirit, and beauty - but never more so as she is as a Mom.

Lainey is so lucky to have her as a Mum and I feel lucky to have her voice included in this series.  Please read on to learn more about Cara and her reflections on becoming a Mom.

Who are you? My name is Cara Edmonds, (previously a Studer!) I was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania. After joining the military, I was stationed in Tacoma, Washington for three years where my husband and I met. We just recently moved to Germany on military orders!

Who is in your family?  Myself, my husband Bruce, and our 7 month old daughter Lainey live on a military base in Baumholder, Germany. I also have a 5 year old stepdaughter, Larissa. She lives with her mother here in Germany.  And we just got a brand new addition to our family, a beautiful Bengal kitten named Neeko.

What do you do for work?  I was active duty military for 3 years. Upon my pregnancy we decided as a family it was best for me to accept an honorable discharge so I could be a full time Mommy to our Lainey girl. I plan on using my benefits to get back in school full time this fall. Very exciting and nerve racking.

What would your pre-mom self be surprised to know about motherhood? The amazingness of it all.  How much this tiny little human would make me love, endlessly. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking how deep this love goes. How on October 29th, 2013 at 1:19 AM, my life would forever be changed.  Everything now has new meaning, purpose, and appreciation.

What was the most difficult Mom moment you've had (so far)?  The first two weeks of Lainey’s life. We found out at 20 weeks pregnancy that she had a birth defect called Gastroschisis. This meant that her abdominal wall didn't properly close, and her intestines were on the outside of her body through an opening next to the umbilical cord. I had to go for weekly ultrasounds the rest of the pregnancy.   Every gastroschisis is unique, so they told me that they have no idea of the severity of the situation until she would be born. I was induced so the whole team needed for our girl afterwards were waiting. Just moments after being born my angel needed an operation. They were able to put everything back inside her and where it should be right then. I was able to go see her about 3 hours after she was born.

She spent the next 2 weeks in the NICU. We were so blessed, for her speedy recovery, and her ability to begin eating and digesting without issues. It was so hard to leave her in the NICU to go home each night without her. I wanted to be present all the time; I feared she would wake up, and I wouldn't be there and imagined how scary that would be for her. I felt like I wasn't being her mother. At the time it was so frustrating, every poke of her foot to draw blood every four hours, would make me cry. But I knew that the nurses did more for her than I could given the situation.  With faith and prayers (and more faith and prayers!)  Our Lainey won! God bless her surgeon and all her amazing nurses. I could never show them all my gratitude.

How do you unwind ore re-charge? Unwinding is the best. TV and Me = meant to be!! I have many silly little shows I get so excited for, that its probably a little ridiculous (lol). To name a few Face Off, Project Runway, Hell’s Kitchen, Cutthroat Kitchen. & Jimmy Fallon. Everyone needs some Jimmy Fallon. To recharge I like to drink coffee with Girl Scout Samoa creamer in the morning sun!

Who are the moms you look up to? There are two mothers that jump out at this question. My mother and my sister Tausha. I speak of both of them when I say their love is endless. They are both Christian women who raise their children with Christian values. They are so hardworking and make -what would be impossible to someone else- possible. They never give up. They are hands down the strongest women and mothers I know. True role models of the woman and mom I hope to one day be!

stay connected despite distance.  Cara's Mom, Dad, Sister, Niece, and Grandmother talking via technology
What do you feel like you wish you were better at being a mom? I feel some guilt for not following through with breastfeeding. With Lainey being in the NICU I was able to pump and store a lot, but being busy; my supply ran down. Also, I would feel so frustrated when she’s screaming and crying of hunger, and just giving her a bottle made her happy, and in return make me happy too. I guess in the end, it really isn't for everyone. If bottle feeding my child can help me to enjoy her more, then so be it! Plus she got the good stuff for the first few weeks!

What do you feel like you are really good at as a mom? I feel I am very patient and compassionate as a mother. And its crazy because patience was one of my biggest fears of motherhood. My patience has run very thin the older I get (this is normal right? Haha!) but with Lainey it’s a whole different story. I love to snuggle my sometimes irrationally cranky sweet angel!

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